Summary: Conveniently located budget hotels in Tokyo can be a challenge to find. Sakura Group's Ikebukuro Location offers comfortable, convenient and cheap accommodation for Asia travelers.
Cheap Hotel Near Shinjuku, Shibuya, Harajuku
Tokyo is massive, there is lots to see, and many backpackers can only afford to stay in the city for a few nights. Therefore, location is absolutely essential when picking lodging for a visit to Tokyo. Hotel Sakura is encompassed by Sakura Group, which owns numerous hostels, hotels, and guesthouses throughout the city. Your personal sightseeing goals will likely determine the best location for you. The Ikebukuro spot offers convenient access to popular destinations like Shinjuku, Harajuku, Rappongi, and Shibuya, as well as Ueno Park and Asakusa. However, Sakura Hotels can offer an inexpensive option for comfort and convenience in other neighborhoods too. Try the Jimbocho, Hatagaya, or Asakusa locations for alternative accommodation in Japan's busiest city.
Tokyo's subway system is extensive and can be confusing at first go, as not all lines are operated by the same companies and don't all accept the same fare cards. The JR Yamanote line, however, makes a large loop around the city, making it easy for visitors to see a lot with minimal subway transfers. Ikebukuro station is known as the world's second busiest train station, and is located on the JR Yamanote line. Hotel Sakura in Ikebukuro is just a ten-minute walk from the subway station.
A Tokyo Budget Hotel with Amenities
From a solo traveler to groups of up to 28 people, guests can choose private or shared rooms, dormitory style with shared kitchen, or traditional Japanese style ryokan. At 6,800 yen for a single room, Hotel Sakura Ikebukuro is very affordable by Japanese standards, and those traveling in groups can save even more. (Prices do vary a bit by location). While Sakura does not offer the super-economical capsule room, guests have ample space to stretch out with full size beds, color TV, ethernet cable, A/C, bathrobe, slippers, towels and basic toiletries provided. Those who've been traveling other Asian countries will recognize this as a luxury not often found.
Sakura feels like a backpacker hotel, but with even more conveniences. There is an international payphone, free WIFI, vending machines, and an internet café in the lobby for those traveling without a laptop. The friendly, English speaking staff provides free luggage storage, a laundry service, and information on activities and sights around Tokyo. Additionally, the website is excellent, excellent, excellent. There are pictures of all the room types and a very organized online reservation and confirmation system allows tourists to feel comfortable when reserving rooms ahead of time. You can also find detailed directions from the airport and from the Subway station on the website.
For 320 yen, guests can enjoy a light all-you-can-eat breakfast from 5-11 am, which includes toast with butter/jam, soup, tea, coffee, and juice. The café serves a full menu of international foods for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert, and has a wide selection of sakes and international beers. Sakura has a few indoor tables, as well as a nice patio with seating where backpackers can read a book or chat with other travelers. It seems they try to promote a communal, friendly atmosphere where folks can meet, yet it's not rowdy. I did not experience this during my stay, but Sakura locations sometimes display art or hold cultural events for guests.
Enjoy the sights of Tokyo conveniently from your base at Hotel Sakura Ikebukuro. Whether you're a lone backpacker, or traveling with a group, you can feel comfortable here without blowing your travel budget.